DJ IZ: Apprenticeships: An Alternative to Traditional Education


I actually have a great story. How we talk about the traditional institutions that put you through process of education, and you come out and you got this certificate or degree and you feel like “Hey man, I’m a certified engineer. I can go.” And then you get in the real world and you work with somebody who’s established, who’s got a couple Grammys, who’s got a couple number one records, and you hear a note that doesn’t really resonate with you right according to what you learned in school, but here you got a guy who’s been able to do it over and over and over again, and you’re stuck on maybe this note that you hear that doesn’t sit well with you according to the information you’ve gathered.

But, this person says “Well, it was good to me. Let’s move on.” And because you can’t let it go, you continue to push it, push it. “No, I’m telling you that. I know it ain’t…” “Your job is done today. Thank you. Have a good one.” And that guy will never work in a session with that producer ever again. I can guarantee you that. Like I said, school’s not even teaching the art of tape, splicing reels, the sonic difference between analog and digital. But I guarantee you our mentors are introducing that. Our mentors are talking about the sonic quality of tape, analog, digital, data experience, outboard gear. Not just in the box.

That’s the difference. I’ve met numerous students who have come from these musical schools, and they don’t even know what timeclock is, they don’t even know how to sync up a drum machine. And I say “Man, you didn’t learn how…” No, they didn’t cover that. Now, you put them in the room with me, because I’m a mentor, I say, “Here’s an empty seat. This is how you get timecode. This is how you generate SMPTE. This is how you lock it up to the computer.” “Oh wow. I heard how that’s done.” That’s the difference.

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